Read about one of the Outhousers' favorite characters in the weekly Character Spotlight! This week, we look at Shockwave!
Origin Story: Shockwave has had multiple origins due to the many universes and continuities associated with the Transformers' property. However, his various iterations share one trait, he has only one eye. Of the numerous appearances in various Transformers media, Shockwave was originally a long lost Decepticon General to Megatron. After this, his stories vary from Shockwave being a loyal footsoldier to actually becoming leader of the Decepticons.
For the cartoon appearing in the September 1984 pilot episode More Than Meets the Eye Part 1, he's one of Megatron's most loyal generals and who spent over four million years keeping Cybertron under Decepticon control when Megatron and the rest of his elite guard were missing in action.
In the Marvel comics' version, events played out a little bit differently when he first appeared (Transformers #4). He was the one who planned the Decepticon assault on the Autobot ship called the Ark and was a part of the raid. However, Shockwave remained on the Decepticon vessel when the remainder of the Decepticons boarded the Ark. When the Ark crashed and knocked all the robots aboard into a catatonic state, Shockwave landed on Earth searching for the crash to finish the job. The Ark's computers sensed this threat and created the Dinobots to defend it. A showdown ensued in the Savage Land (yes, the Marvel one) resulting in both Shockwave and the Dinobots being knocked out. They remained dormant until the Great War began and a Autobot probe reactivated him.
When IDW relaunched the series, Shockwave's story was the prequel to the events that started the main Transformers series (Transformers: Shockwave Spotlight). His scientific experiments on the production of Energon offworld eventually brought both factions of Transformers to Earth. Again, a battle with the Dinobots resulted him being K.O.ed until the present. Shockwave returned as an agent of a human organization known as Skywatch (Maximum Dinobots). The partnership didn't last as Shockwave double-crossed them and ended up being captured by the Autobots. He escaped and rejoined the Decepticon ranks as their tech specialist rebuilding both Megatron and the spacebridge.
Character Appeal: Referred to as by first writer of the original Marvel comic as "Spock but evil", the one key character quality shown throughout each interpretation of his character has been that logic dictates his every move.
In his very first appearance in comics (US Marvel Transformers #4), he defeated the Autobots all by himself. Shockwave later did what Starscream could only dream of, defeating Megatron one on one and claiming leadership of the Decepticons for himself.
On the flip side, his television incarnations (G1 and Transformers Animated) have him as the most loyal of all Megatron's soldiers. Both times he's been voiced by Corey Burton.
Also, he can't shoot for shit and is VERY lonely:
Transformers #4-12 – This arc showcases his first reign as leader of the Decepticons and his desive defeat of Megatron (#6). Some of his schemes during this period involve using Optimus Prime's creation matrix to give birth to a new Decepticon Army (he only succeeds in creating the Constructicons since Optimus gives the power to a human), setting a new base for Decepticon operations, and transmitting a signal to Cybertron for reinforcements (#10). He then almost defeats the Autobots for good, who were saved only by Jetfire's betrayal and Optimus Prime opening a can of whup ass on him. This arc was reprinted in Transformers Generation One Classics Vol. 1.
His final appearance in the UK Marvel comics was when he was assassinated by the dimension hopping Death Head (Transformers #151). His final US Marvel appearance was in Transformers #78 when the Autobot Ratchet put the Ark on a crash course to Earth with himself, Shockwave, Galvatron II, Megatron, and Starscream on the ship in an attempt to wipe all four Decepticons out. Rachet's sacrifice was only partially successful as Megatron survived the crash and later brought Starscream back online.
Transformers Spotlight: Shockwave #1 – His first IDW appearance, which shows Shockwave coming to the realization that Cybertron is dying and the only way for his race to endure is via mass Energon harvesting offworld. Shockwave creates a massive quantity on Earth but is attacked by the Dinobots before he could move to another planet. Although Shockwave defeats his foes, Grimlock, the leader of the Dinobots, enacts a contingency plan which results in the Dinobots' spaceship blasting the heck out of Shockwave. At the end of the issue, he and his foes are dug up by humans several million years later.
Maximum Dinobots #1-5 - After Laserbeak, Ravage, and the Dinobots escape from the human organization known as Skywatch, they reactivate Shockwave to bring them back: functioning or not. To ensure Shockwave's loyalty, Skywatch implants a bomb into his head. Not happy with his new job, Shockwave schemes with Soundwave (who Laserbeak and Ravage have freed from his own personal confinement) to double cross his human allies. In the end, Shockwave is beaten and captured by the Autobots.
Last Stand of the Wreckers #3 - Shockwave is brought back online and escapes his Autobot prison.
Shockwave Can Even Beat Superman...: He's the Batman of Transformers. This bot loves preptime and can calculate any flaw in his opponent. He's beaten both factions' greatest warriors (Megatron and Optimus Prime) and has gone toe to toe with the biggest of Autobots in Fortress Maximus. What's one puny Kryptonian compared to his swift calculating logic?
Where the Character is Today: Shockwave has rejoined the ranks of the Decepticons in Transfomers (IDW) #7. He is a continued presence amongst them, having rebuilt Megatron (#15) and is scheming of even grander plans (Spotlight: Sideswipe). He'll also be featured as one of the main villains in the live action Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon (2011).
Written or Contributed by: Zechs